Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Favorites: Life Lately

This week has been a good one. We are all still adjusting to the time change, especially mama and daddy, but overall this week has been on the laid back side. #allthepraisehands

Here's our favorite happenings lately...

*Garrison's soccer season kicked off a couple of weeks ago and afterwards we went out to lunch and these 2 shared some post-game analysis. I loved our family lunch date and listening to these two go over the game. 😊

*This seems to happen every year but it's my favorite. My beautiful tree blooms in the Winter. This week has been pretty chilly but our warm days before the cold front brought out one of my favorite views of almost-Spring. 

*This cutie is my favorite Cat in the Hat. Read Across America week was a fun one.

*Cold and rainy Sunday afternoons are perfect for movies!

*Last week when Terrell was out of town I got to take Layton to school for the first time this school year! We were both super excited. 😊 It was definitely a big deal and something I'm thankful I worked out to do. 

*On Saturday my baby boy played in his very first tee ball game! He had fun and did great! 

*Watching him get ready for his first at bat was the sweetest. Hitting is his favorite. Haha. Although during last night's game he took his role in the outfield pretty seriously. 😊

*We enjoyed some cancelled practices this week and got in some fun game nights. Yay for laid back evenings at home! (This particular game night was hilarious because Garrison read his book in-between turns, Layton played with another game in-between turns, and Austin was our only serious player. Ha!)

*Fidget spinner trading, games, and spinning competitions have been a favorite here this week. And 3 boys playing together and getting along perfect while mama cooks is the BEST!

*Last night was a crazy one start to finish for us. We had team pictures for everybody, a practice for Garrison, a late game for Austin and Layton, plus had to find a way to feed everyone at some point. So it was wild. But I must say I loved eating my fast-food in the car and watching Garrison and his best bud practice soccer drills together. And then I loved cheering on my babies in their baseball game. (And things were so exciting and intense that I completely forgot to get a single picture.) It was such a fun game and win for our little team. 

We are pretty wiped out this morning. Last night was a LATE one for all of us. But we're sooo thankful it's Friday and we're looking forward to a great weekend! Depending on the weather Garrison is supposed to play twice this weekend, I'm going to try to do a little house cleaning, we have a birthday party, church, and hopefully lots of extra rest!

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Weekend Restoration

That's how this past weekend felt. Restoration of home and family life and the normal routine again. #PraiseJesus

Terrell was out of town last week and let's just say I'm not my best self when he's not here. Unfortunately I just don't handle ALL THE THINGS, all by myself, all that great. My husband is pretty wonderful. He does a lot around here and is the best teammate. So it is HARD not having my partner here. I thought this particular trip had the potential to be a tad easier with the kids being a little older... and I do believe it's a little easier now that they are more independent, but now I'm working full time and that's a whole 'nother challenge I completely underestimated. #majorly 

When the boys were much younger and Terrell first began traveling for work (thank goodness it isn't very often anymore!), I was staying home and remember feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, but also relieved that some things could wait until tomorrow. The laundry, the mess, the errands. 

This go round, that just wasn't possible. There was no putting off until tomorrow because there would be no time tomorrow. I'd hardly even be home tomorrow! School, home, after school routine/homework, supper, practice, baths, bedtime, and finally, exhaustion (for mama). Repeat. I managed to do 1 and a half loads of laundry all week. The first load I started on Monday night, dried on Tuesday afternoon some time, and put away on Wednesday. The 2nd load was started on Wednesday and dried on Wednesday but that's as far as we made it. The piles of laundry grew and grew and I literally wasn't home, or awake, enough to do any of it.

I also wasn't able to tackle any of the messes that accumulated while I was on my own. School papers, toys, books, beyblades, etc. Everything around here felt neglected. I didn't cook one single time. I think I cried or came really close to crying at some point every day due to frustration or being overwhelmed or wondering why do I stink at this? or how can I keep up with my lesson plans and school responsibilities AND my kids and the house?? I even wondered more than once what I'd do if something ever happened to Terrell. I mean boys are crazy. I need my husband! Satan attacked me and I felt too worn out to fight back. It almost always occurred around bedtime. I think it was the exhaustion of the day catching up with me. Plus I still had things to do after getting the kids to bed. Plus I couldn't talk to Terrell much on this trip because he had a roommate. Boo.

Thankfully every moment of the week wasn't challenging and hard. I had lots of help, I was able to take Layton to school for the first time this school year (which we both loved!), the boys got along really well for the most part, and our mornings went almost perfect. I think I just felt like there was SO much to do and I was flat worn out. It felt impossible. Plus I got sort of discouraged living in the mess... and sort of frustrated with myself for being overwhelmed.... and sort of had some short lived pity parties. (I couldn't dwell in self-pity because who had the time or energy?!)

So last week was challenging. And even now, just a few days removed from flying solo, I can already make myself feel a little like a failure and wonder just a teensy bit why it was such a big deal. One day I know I'll look back and think it wasn't that hard. But that's why I want to write about it. I want to be real and transparent and remember that in the moment it was hard. God blessed us with everything we needed but mama was challenged. There were some tears, there was some craziness, there were most definitely some messes, but we did it and the boys hopefully aren't scarred. 

The weekend, which began for us Friday morning as we hardly saw each other Thursday evening even though Terrell was back home, the weekend brought restoration and sweetness. Our family found our groove. My husband became king of the laundry. (YAY! Haha!) I managed some dusting and vacuuming. We made a family effort to get all the things back where they belonged. We rested. We enjoyed having everyone back under one roof. We laughed, yelled, refereed, cheered, prayed, and loved together. It wasn't perfect, but it was. It was a gift from God and so full of grace.

Last week felt long and I definitely struggled through it, but this weekend made it worth it. I think we all felt restored. Except for the time change. This particular time change isn't my friend and didn't do much to help me recover from my exhausting week, but we still had such a great one. We enjoyed a family date to Chick fil A on Friday night, opening day of baseball Saturday, lots of downtime at home, a great morning at church, a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon, and I even managed to get some of my school work done.

And now as we start another week, the laundry is tackled, the house is back in order, for the most part, and daddy is home sweet home. We love and appreciate him so!!

Weekend restoration was a sweet blessing we are all thankful for!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday Favorites: Back to the Grind

This week was back to the grind for us. It was a good week but this teacher-mama is WIPED. Gracious. I am in serious slo-mo this morning but so thankful for Friday!!

Here's a look at my favorite happenings from our week...

*This is actually from sometime around Valentine's Day and just never got posted and shared but my middle man finished his first "chapter" book! He was so proud!! He read a chapter aloud to me or Terrell almost every night for a week. It was the perfect first chapter book for him. 

*Now he is officially all about chapter books. Haha! He sees Garrison reading through tons of chapter books and wants to read some of what he's reading too. Bless him. While he can skim chapter a few Magic Treehouse and Junie B. books he isn't quite ready to read them independently yet. 😉

*Last week on our sunniest, prettiest day our pool looked sooo tempting! We can't wait for summer! And landscaping!! Ha!

*Terrell planned a date night for us on Friday night and even arranged for the boys to spend the night with my parents. He has always been so intentional about dating me. I love him. (And I need to do better with planning some dates for us too!) We had such a great night together. Sleeping in on Saturday morning was the best!

*Later on Saturday we let the boys take a quick dip in the pool. The temp was around 80, our water temperature had been on the rise, and they'd been begging to swim thanks to our Spring like weather all week. So we caved. And Garrison was the only one to actually swim... for like 5 minutes tops. The water was just too cold! Haha! Austin got good and wet and Layton opted for toes in the water. 😊

*These 2 are peas in a pod. I love their sweet little friendship. And pre-nap time routine at Granna's. 😊

*When practice for all the boys was cancelled on Monday we went to the library after school for more books! Layton was so patient with his brothers while searched and searched for books. They LOVE our library. 

*Speaking of the library, I got me a new book too. This is my first book by Kristin Hannah and I'm liking it so far. 

*We got in a family walk/run and bike ride this week too! This is becoming one of our favorite hobbies. I got in a second walk solo later in the week and the boys and Terrell got in a second walk the afternoon I worked late. Thankfully the temperature has been perfect for getting in our walks. It hasn't been too hot or too cold. Once it gets too hot we'll have to switch to laps in the pool cause mama doesn't do hot so well. 😊

*My view was the best!

*And so was the sunset!

*Read across America week this week has been fun. And the only picture I remembered was Austin with his silly socks. Haha. He loved wearing his green and orange socks all day. 

*My verse and chapter of the week! Isaiah 40. I will be meditating on this chapter for a while. So thankful for the way He speaks through His Word.

*On Sunday afternoon we cleaned up and cleaned out the boys' rooms and made a few changes. We moved the rocking chair out of Layton's room (*tear*), moved the dress-up box into Layton's room, and rearranged just a couple of small things in their rooms. Layton's room looks so much more spacious and "big boy" now. I'm loving it. (I made the pictures last night really quick so his bed isn't picture perfect. Ha.)

His room is one of my faves now. 😊

*Austin Selph lost another bottom tooth and earned himself another 2 dollars from the tooth fairy! 😊

 We are soooo looking forward to our weekend! I have a girls night tonight (yay!!!), we have Garrison's first soccer game tomorrow, and we are planning to rest and relax plenty too! Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

More and Less: February Edition

Here's a little update on how things have been going with my goals of more and less this month...

*Going to bed early. This one continues to be a success! Yay! We are just a few weeks into our sports season and I'm still managing to get in bed *usually* before 10:00. I'm so glad I've made this a priority because I believe sleep and rest (and enough of it!) are super important. Especially during this time in my life when I feel like I'm on "go" constantly. I will say that over Winter Break last week I stayed up later every night because of being out of school, and I know we haven't hit the heart of our sports season yet, sooo, we'll see how my bedtime is effected moving forward. 
*Cleaning during the week. If I'm being completely honest, I've already wanted to scratch this one. I'm just not sure it's for me. #eeesh My cleaning during the week consists of vacuuming regularly and keeping my kitchen clean (dishes washed and put away, counters wiped down, table wiped down, etc). The kitchen isn't always clutter-free, but we keep it clean for the most part. What I can't seem to do during the week (unless we have a party planned or are hosting something soon) is to dust. Or clean a bathroom. Or swifter. Or windex win It just isn't a priority and doesn't happen. I keep telling myself that I need to give it a try before throwing in the towel but then other things come first and it just doesn't happen. Maybe there's hope for March? It's doubtful but I won't scratch it yet. 
*Praying and time with the Lord. I am still feeling progress in this area. My prayer life feels back on track and my quiet times are way more consistent. One thing I want to work on in March is more time in the Word. I've really slacked on my Bible reading and want to do better. 
*Physical Activity. Good report! Good report! Haha. While the first half of the month wasn't very active for me thanks to not feeling so good and at least 1 of the boys not feeling so good either, the second half of the month has been full physical activity. Yay! Our sports season started a couple of weeks ago and since we have 1 boy playing soccer and 2 boys playing baseball, with practices on the same nights, I am forced to go to practice. Ha. (In the past, Terrell has always taken the boys when he could so I could stay home and cook, do things around the house, or be with the kid who didn't have practice.) Terrell is coaching Austin and Layton's team so I'm on soccer practice duty every Monday and Thursday and I've been walking the soccer fields for almost the entire practice every time. Yay for multi-tasking. 😊 Then, over Winter break I walked at practice or on a family walk while the kids rode bikes almost every day. It's even continued into this week. So for now I feel like I'm on a roll and I'm hoping to keep up the momentum. 

*Blogging. I'm keeping up with once or twice a week during school so I'd say that's a success! It's hard to find time for lots of days but I still enjoy it and still appreciate keeping a "record" of our memories. So hopefully I can keep it up!
*Time on my phone. I've made some progress this month. I still have a looooong way to go but I'm thankful for baby steps in the right direction. I actually completely put my phone away, out of sight-out of mind, a few times this month between 5:30ish and 8:30ish. But when I started missing phone calls from Garrison's school I decided I might need to keep it within earshot and just exercise some self control about leaving it there and not checking it/looking at it until our "family time" was over or the kids are in the bath, etc. As for progress keeping it put away in the car, I'm doing much better than I was. I'm no longer reading blogs, scrolling FB, or texting every time I'm a passenger. I'm hoping I can do even better in March.
*Sweets. This month was the tale of two halves. During the first half of February I was very intentional and did great avoiding the sweet stuff. Then came Valentine's Day, Layton's birthday party, and sweets and chocolate galore. So. Let's just say my self control wasn't as strong come mid-February. I'm still doing great with sweets control at school though! So that's a victory that I believe has the potential to be long term and dare I say a lifestyle change. Not a huge one, but I'm counting it! Haha!
*Being overwhelmed. So this month is when things got real. Our Spring sports got started, school is starting to catch up with me again (meaning I'm no longer ahead on my lesson plans and I'm starting to feel the looming pressure and time crunch of getting it all done), and I've started anticipating Terrell being out of town for a week... something I've always struggled with, dreaded, and probably not ever handled so great. But this morning I read Isaiah 40:11 and then ended up finishing the whole chapter and felt in awe and amazed and relaxed in Him. It was just what I needed. March will probably test me, but I know my source of strength and I know that even though I can't do it all my own, I don't have to. #Praisehands!! 

That's a wrap. I'm praying a lot moving into March. 😊

Happy Hump Day!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites: Winter Break Edition

We have enjoyed a pretty wonderful Winter Break. School breaks come around just when we need them and we are so thankful!! This break has been one of my favorites. Here's a look at what we've up to...

*Last week baseball season kicked off for these two! Terrell is coaching their team and we are thrilled they can be on the same team this year. Layton is still learning but so excited about playing. And Austin is the older brother-pro. 😊

They were so cute getting ready to leave for their first practice. (I had to miss because Garrison and I were off to soccer... our first season ever of 2 different sports between the kiddos. #yikes)

*On Saturday we celebrated Layton turning 4 with his Superhero party and I found a picture that includes all of us... even Terrell's head! Haha! 

*After the party was over and everybody left, Terrell promised the boys he would jump in the pool. Which he did! #crazy But since we wouldn't let the boys get in because FRIGID water, they were satisfied with putting their feet in. (Our backyard is still a big mess but landscaping begins next week! YAY!!)

*On Sunday after church we celebrated my Paw Paw's 92nd birthday with family and a big Sunday lunch. We had a great time getting together for another special birthday! 

*Layton even fell asleep on the couch after lunch. Bless. He was worn out and still getting over being sick. Thankfully he's back to 100% now. #allthepraisehands

*On Monday after our super fun day at Snow Mountain we came home and crashed for a while before getting ready for baseball and soccer practice. Since we had 2 different practices at two different times it worked out for me to take all my boys on dates. 😊 First up was dinner with these 2....

*Then, after swapping out with Terrell and finishing up soccer practice, I got to take this one out! I enjoyed both dates so much. (And, as a side note, Garrison Cade ate his weight in pizza and cheese bread. Gracious. I told Terrell from now on if we have to feed him after a practice we need to hit up a buffet. #wowzer)

*On Tuesday morning after sleeping in a little, going for a walk and bike ride, and showering and getting ready I took the boys to one of their most favorite places... the library! 😊 We brought home half the inventory and they had a great time. Until one, who isn't pictured, ahem, decided he was unhappy with my decision not to read a chapter book aloud that I just read to them last summer.... or sometime in the past. All is well now, but wasn't at the time. Ha.

*Since Tuesday, Garrison has read a record 4 chapter books. #readingmachine #yayforaloveofreading

*Our 2nd morning walk and bike ride in a row! It was a workout keeping up with these 3! 

*We tried out Layton's new PJ Mask game this week and it was a big hit! All 3 boys were fans. 

*A mid-week movie night is my fave! #WinterBreakperks

*The boys got to spend a good part of day with Terrell's parents yesterday and were spoiled rotten. Haha. And tonight they're off to spend the night with my parents. This break has been good to them. 😊

This week has been good for us. We took an iPad break for the week, we've been lazy, we've been playing, we've been staying up a little later and sleeping later too. It's been really nice. And fun! Tonight, Terrell planned a date for us while the boys are off spending the night and this weekend we're looking forward to more downtime and grilling out with family to kick off Spring (at least it feels like Spring is here. 😊) Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Layton's Birthday & Outing

Layton's birthday was the 12th and last Monday we woke him up, per tradition, with 4 balloons in bed, 2 brothers, and lots of Happy Birthdays!

It was a fun, sweet start to the day. He's still at the age where it's a little confusing understanding the difference between your birthday and the day of your birthday party. So we kept talking to him about it and explaining it and we think he finally understood that on Monday he turned 4! 😊

Another bright and early run to the doughnut palace for our 2nd birthday boy of the month! Layton likes "plain" best of all when it comes to food, so a glazed doughnnut is what he chose. And a fresh, plain, glazed doughnut is my fave too!

 I love how animated he is blowing out candles. 

He took a cookie cake to school to share with his class and chose our supper the night of his bday... tacos! For the 2nd Monday (and birthday celebration) in a row! Haha!

On this past Saturday we celebrated with his long-awaited Superhero party, and on Monday we set off for his birthday outing and "gift" from mama and daddy.

We decided on another trip to Snow Mountain and had such a fun day together! We chose Snow Mountain for 2 reasons. One is because Layton absolutely LOVED our trip last year when we took Garrison for his birthday outing. He loved it so much he wanted our trip during Spring Break to Stone Mountain to include snow and our trip during Fall Break to include snow. He's talked about Snow Mountain off and on for a whole year. So that was the main reason we decided to go back. We also knew it was perfect timing given that our season passes expire at the end of this month. So it was one last chance to visit Stone Mountain and get a discount on Snow Mountain tickets. A win-win. 😊

Loaded up and heading out!

We arrived shortly after 10 when the park opened and it was a little cool, super foggy, and extra drizzly. 

These 3 were so excited. Especially our littlest man. 

This was the scene when we first got in the snow and the snow machine was going. It looked like a Winter day in the Pacific Northwest. (As if I know what that looks like. It's at least what I imagine it looks like.)

We started off on the kiddie tubes and once again this year, Layton was content with just one ride down. Haha!

The big boys went down several times and loved it!

There were very few people there and the boys never had to wait in line. The weather wasn't the best but we still had a ton of fun and enjoyed the low crowds!

Layton and I played in the snow for a while before his big brothers joined us. 

This was probably Layton's favorite part.

Garrison's hair was wet by this point thanks to the drizzle. Thankfully it never actually rained or got any heavier and it eventually stopped altogether.

We played here in the snow until our tube time started.

Here we are getting ready to go down for the first time!! It was SO fun! And faster than last year I believe! 

After a few times down in the tube Layton decided he wanted to go back and play in the snow. He wasn't a huge fan of the thrill this year. Haha. So we split up and Terrell continued tubing with the bigs while Layton and I went back to the play area.

He played and played and had such a good time but eventually got tired and actually asked me to take him somewhere to lay down. Bless his heart. He'd been battling an ear infection (and strep!) so I got worried that maybe he wasn't feeling so good but I think he was just worn out. He made other requests we wanted to make happen so we traded off again. 

I rode the tube with the big boys while Terrell took Layton to see the 4-D Ice Age show. Since we had our season passes we were able to do anything Stone Mountain offered while we were there and it worked out perfect for us. The big boys and I had a blast tubing. Every ride was so fast and fun!! And because it wasn't very crowded we had very short waits. YAY.

Layton getting ready to go see the movie with daddy. 😊

Once Garrison and Austin got pretty tired, we met up with Terrell and Layton just as the movie was finishing up and Layton had one last request before we called it a day.... he wanted to do the Sky Ride and ride to the top of the mountain. Since the boys were worn out we just moved our car instead of making the walk and rode the gondola thing up the mountain. We had almost zero visibility, which was a little crazy, but Layton loved it. Once we got outside at the top of the mountain we realized it was colder, wetter, and more foggy. Haha! We could hardly see a thing! We took this selfie and it looks like we're in the clouds because you can't see a single thing around us. It was cool and strange at the same time. 😊

Once we made it down (a ride that Layton loved and I sort of held my breath on because our gondola was LOADED with people), we were ready for snacks and to head home. Three out of five Selphs fell asleep and it was a perfect, peaceful ride. 😊

We had a ball celebrating with our baby boy and he even thanked us while we were there. It was so sweet. We loved this President's Day and the start to our Winter Break! Birthday outings are our favorite!!